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Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West
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Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West

(InCryptid #0.04 - Stingers and Strangers)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  817 ratings  ·  154 reviews

From a kill-or-be-killed gunfight with a vampire to an encounter in a steampunk bordello, the weird western is a dark, gritty tale where the protagonist might be playing poker with a sorcerous deck of cards, or facing an alien on the streets of a dusty frontier town.

Here are twenty-three original tales—stories of the Old West infused with eleme
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Titan Books
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  817 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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ᴥ Irena ᴥ
With the exception of two or three stories which I didn't love as much as the rest, this is a great collection with a common theme: wild west.

Some have magic, others steam engines, and some have both; some have only one character in it with the exception of the thing they are fighting, others have battles; some are about the living, others are about the dead; some have only humans, others other creatures too; some are sad, some humorous. And this is only small part of it. I can keep going. This
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it

A great introduction to the genre of Weird West! All of the stories started with interesting ideas -- some were more successful making a good story out of those ideas than others, but all were definitely worth a look. I didn't dislike any of these, although there were just a couple that didn't hold my interest. I did discover that -- for me -- a little Weird West goes a very long way. I think this genre works better in film for me. Nice collection -- recommend!
May 01, 2016 marked it as to-read
I'm not marking this as read or giving it a rating yet because I've currently only read one short story from the anthology. I do intend to come back to it and read the rest at some point though so I'll update this review when I get around to it.

3 stars for Stingers and Strangers by Seanan McGuire:
Read: 11th May 2016
Stingers and Strangers is Seanan McGuire's contribution to the Dead Man's Hand anthology. Fran and Jonathan have now been working together for 3 years (& I have to admit that the jump
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Only read Stingers and Strangers by Seanan McGuire.

I'm a little surprised that 3 years have passed since we last saw Jonathan and Fran. But beyond that, this was an awesome story with a lot of fun little glimpses into the further cryptid world and species.

I particularly enjoyed the moments between Fran and Jonathan which seemed to really deepen their relationship.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Only read Stingers and Strangers by Seanan McGuire, because INCRYPTID!

Short and fun, with enough action, humor ... and romance too.

“Very well, then: let me tell you about the Apraxis wasp. First, picture a yellow jacket the size of a shoe.”
“My shoe or yours?” she asked.
Fran shuddered. “Pictured.”
“Good. Now, give that yellow jacket human intelligence.”
“You’re messin’ with me,” Fran said.”

Three years after their fateful meeting in Tempe, Arizona, Jonathan and Fran are still working together. Their new case takes them (and a bag-full of Aeslin mice) to Bo
Harry Casey-Woodward
This is my introduction to the weird west genre and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover it. The genres of horror, fantasy and sci-fi blend seamlessly with the western in these stories. Admittedly, you could argue that westerns count as fantasy anyway. However, the supernatural elements in these particular Wild West stories have been turned up a notch. You’ve got your typical western characters having to deal with vampires, clockwork robots, giant wasps and people not being dead w ...more
I only read Stingers and Strangers by Seanan McGuire. This story is the fourth in a series of short stories about Jonathan Healy and Francis Brown from the author's InCryptid series. A couple have appeared in anthologies, as this one does, and a couple are available for free on the author's website. This story starts 3 years after the last story, in 1931, back on a train headed west and then in a town in Colorado. I don't know, as much as I like the idea of using a common world or series as the ...more
originally posted at:

One sub genre that isn't the mainstream when it comes down to fantasy and science fiction is the western genre. I have come across a few books that do feature some great western stories, those of Joe Abercrombie, Mike Resnick and Guy Adams. Westerns, be it steampunk influenced, classical or with a tinge of science fiction all do pique my interest so when I found out that Titan books was releasing not one but twenty three western stori
Blodeuedd Finland
I am going to do this short, because they stories are just that, some very short, and if I say too much, then I have said it all.

Introduction—John Joseph Adams
Now I know what weird western is

The Red-Headed Dead—Joe R. Lansdale
Short story about a priest. Ok but really short.

The Old Slow Man and His Gold Gun From Space—Ben H. Winters
Weird, short and had a nice twist

Hellfire on the High Frontier—David Farland
Maybe they work cos they are short, interesting. Anyway, I liked the stuff at the end. very
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Part of Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong. An Otherworld Universe Story: Werewolves in the Wild West. Good story, plot and characters. ...more
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: weird-west
Weird West Anthologies are always a kind of mixed bag for me. Sometimes they are the same ol' clichés, while others manage to mix the proper amount of weird westerns so that the reader manages to stay engaged throughout the entire collection.

Dead Man's Hand of one of the latter.
Adams has done a remarkable job bringing a large variety of stories into this collection. There are weird westerns of very genre (ie: steampunk) as well as new and interesting storylines outside of the usual gunslinger
"Stingers and Strangers" by Seanan McGuire

This is a good one, y'all. Fran and Jonathan travel to Colorado to find out what's been scaring the giant wasps, and in the process they finally, FINALLY admit their true feelings for each other. Took them long enough! I guess I assumed that they got together after Frances moved in with the Healys, but I find the idea that they've been dancing around the question for THREE YEARS fucking hilarious.

Anyway. Listen, I DON'T LIKE WASPS. Maybe it's the fact th
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a book full of shorts. I only read the incrypted, Stingers and Strangers, and while it was good, not quite up to her usual standards.
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Average rating: 3.4

The Read-Headed Dead I will say off the hop that I did not enjoy this writing style. There were sentences that had way too any "ands" and if he referred to the vampire one more time as "the thing" I might have screamed. But the Reverend and his take on God were super interesting, and I'm tempted to pick up "Dead in the West" because of it. (3*)

The Old Slow Man and His Gold Gun from Space Repetitive, sometimes to great effect, more often to its detriment. The twist at the end w
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I enjoyed this collection of odd tales from the weird west. It may not have knocked my boots off, but I felt them tugged from time to time. And really, what more can we ask from an anthology.

Stuffed with clockworks, vampires, dinosaurs, and aliens, John Joseph Adams (editor) has wrangled some fun stories. Each author strikes a unique set of harmonics on the scale of voice and tone, and yet the individuality of fellow contributors isn't lost, but rather merged into a larger, primarily singular me
Benjamin Thomas
I’ve grown to enjoy subject-based genre anthologies, provided I like the underlying subject matter and John Joseph Adams has yet to produce an anthology that I have not admired. This collection is no exception as he has put together a nice assortment of “weird western” short stories, featuring some well-known authors such as Joe R. Lansdale, Mike Resnick, Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, and Elizabeth Bear as well as others that were new to me. As always, I liked some better than others but there ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.

Most of the stories I found interesting and unique. I have been a Weird West fan before it was a "Thing". Steampunk is a fairly new territory for me but I have already found some good books from that Genre.

If you like the Wild West.. read this. If you like Steampunk... read this. If you like horror and sci-fi... read this. If you like weird... read this.

Just... read this!
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: anthology, fantasy, weird
Like expected mostly nothing out of the ordinary here.

There are some good and engaging story, but not quite enough to really appreciate this kind of stuff. To be frank I was interested mostly for the weird factor...

The Red-Headed Dead: A Reverend Jebediah Mercer Tale by Joe R. Lansdale ...ok... About the hunt for a vampire.

Hellfire On The High Frontier by David Farland... Interesting in the beginning, but not so, after one point.

The Hell-Bound Stagecoach by Mike Resnick ...ok...The title descri
Chris Bauer
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a shining example of what a great editor, rich material and excellent contributors can do to make an outstanding anthology. The theme of "Weird Westerns" are not done often, but as with this collection, when done right, can be truly outstanding.

The stories run the table from Cthullu mashups to steampunk Westerns and everything in between. Not a single disappointing tale in the anthology.

Fans of virtually any kind of speculative fiction WILL find something to love in the pages.

My person
Jun 17, 2014 rated it liked it
There's no doubt that Adams is a master anthologist- he consistently gets the best and brightest voices in SF/fantasy literature. The stories are usually fresh too- I'll rarely find one or two I've seen elsewhere. This collection, however, fell a little flat. Maybe it was the subject matter- I'm just not that into westerns, even with a twist, and by the end of the anthology I felt tired of it. There's something more, however. The stories didn't feel as transgressive as they usually did for an Ad ...more
Stories by Kelley Armstrong, Laura Anne Gilman, Seanan McGuire, and other fantastic authors plus some new authors. I can't wait!
Clay Davis
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this so I would be reading something until I got another book to read. The Golden Age was the best of the lot.
Jo Ann
Just not compelling enough to finish, stories are on the mediocre side. No point wasting any more time here.
Carmen Serra
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Old West Steampunk. Mike Resnik story as always great.
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
5 out of 20something stories were really good. The rest were either okay or bad and/or racist. Also, I don’t like and therefore am not very familiar with Westerns so take this with a grain of salt.
Julie Bozza
This anthology was rather a mixed bag in terms of the interest of the stories, and could have done with a little more diversity in terms of authors. However, there were some real beauties, and it's worth reading for them.

The real stand-out piece is "The Golden Age" by Walter Jon Williams, which is a glorious hilarious tale of all-too-human superheroes and supervillains in the Californian Goldfields. The protagonists and antagonists are just regular people (well, almost all men, alas) who have i
Jennifer Lee Rossman
I really enjoyed the stories I enjoyed. There are some really amazing stories in this. But they made up less than half the book. The rest ranged from "meh" to "ew, I'm not reading this."
I'll admit, I'm petty about reading. I see no reason to waste my time on something I am not enjoying, but these are some of the reasons I "noped" out of a story in this book.

-Bad things happen to a horse.
-Character willfully ignores suffering horse.
-Horse doesn't even have a name.
-Minority character has a name bu
David Cranmer
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dead Man’s Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West opens with “The Red-Headed Dead” and Joe R. Lansdale’s Reverend Mercer clashing with what Hand Editor John Joseph Adams calls in the introduction “a new unholy monster to battle.” With all due respect, that may be an understatement. Our good Reverend, on horseback, is swept down a hill and past a graveyard to a makeshift cabin as the surroundings area is being shredded apart by unhallowed forces. Before Mercer can pause for a breather, a creature t ...more
I haven't really heard about weird western before. I read Ginn Hale's The Long Past and other stories and found the genre very interesting. And getting this anthology as a present soon after was a stroke of luck.

I rated all the stories individually and the average for this book come up as 3,4 star.

To my favorites I counted "Stingers and Strangers" by Seanan McGuire (5 stars, great world building and main characters), "Second Hand" by Rajan Khanna (4,5 stars, where a deck of card can be used as
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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH (consisti ...more

Other books in the series

InCryptid (1 - 10 of 11 books)
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  • Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid, #2)
  • Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid, #3)
  • Pocket Apocalypse (InCryptid, #4)
  • Chaos Choreography (InCryptid, #5)
  • Magic for Nothing (InCryptid, #6)
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  • That Ain’t Witchcraft (InCryptid, #8)
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